Incidents of falling and getting injured due to open manholes and missing drain covers on footpaths across Dwarka have become common. The residents of Dwarka have time and again shared their grievances on social media and addressed their problems with the civic bodies but the footpaths of the city are yet to become safe for the pedestrians.
CitySpidey took a round of Dwarka and found that the footpaths were not maintained and drains with missing covers could be seen all over. Moreover, even the footpaths near the private and government schools were in a dangerous state for the pedestrians.
Sectors such as 3,4,5,1,12,13,14,16, which see heavy pedestrian movements throughout the day, are the worst-hit places where footpaths with open-drain covers can be seen. Not just along roads, footpaths in busy markets are also seen with missing drain covers. Residents informed that MP, MLA and Councillors have visited these areas for political programmes but no one took concern of such footpaths.
A few years back, the wife of JC Malhotra, a senior citizen and resident of Welcome CGHS (Cooperative Group Housing Society) got badly hurt as she fell into the drain in Sector 3. The cover of the drain on the footpath was missing. Again, in 2019 September, JC Malhotra, in his eighties, somehow narrowly escaped from the fall due to missing cover of the drain on the footpath near Batiuk Ji and National Apartments Sector 3.
Following these incidents, Malhotra started a campaign against these unsafe footpaths. He wrote to various authorities and also approached the area Councilor and MLA with an appeal to properly maintain the footpaths so that no such accidents are repeated. But his efforts went in vain except the covering of a particular place where the cover was missing and for which the complaint was made by him.
Malhotra is worried about the condition of such footpaths and says, “ If someone was to fall into one of these open drains then that could prove fatal. I am myself a victim as my wife was in bed for a long time due to an injury sustained when she fell into one such open drain. Despite my campaign, the authorities did nothing. Today I cannot do anything but feel sad about the whole issue. Who would be responsible if such an accident takes place again?”
Residents, mainly senior citizens, say that these footpaths are nothing but death traps and the civic bodies are still not concerned. They said that now because of open manholes and missing covers on the footpaths over the deep drain, they have no choice but to walk on the main road.
Mahesh Gupta general secretary of DDA SFS flats Sector 5, says, “Covering of drains and open manholes is a regular and routine process which must be looked after by DDA and Municipal Corporation. But this is not happening here. Public representatives on the other hand are least bothered about this issue. The common people are suffering and mainly the senior citizens.”